A Lonely Dungeon

A Lonely Dungeon

by cathfach

When a new dungeon is born, it wants nothing more than to have the most vicious monsters, the most cunning traps and the most shiny of loot. There is only one problem, but it's a rather big one; it finished its first floor years ago, but it still hasn't been visited by any adventurers! In order to find someone or something to explore its floors, or perhaps just to find someone to talk to, this dungeon will have to go way off script. But it soon discovers that going off script brings problems of its own, and that adventurers are not the only thing this world is missing.

A shortish story about a dungeon's journey of exploration and self-discovery in a devastated world. Cover made (poorly) with POV-Ray.

Prequel to An Unbound Soul

Published here, scribblehub and amazon. Join the discord at https://discord.gg/ZxmZWhTm4e

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cathfach

cathfach

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Davey dave
Overall

If you enjoy unique takes on classic genres this is for you. Without spoiling it this dungeon core novel explores the aftermath of an apocalyptic series of events and how a young dungeon without prey would evolve. 

It also explores a series of loopholes to a limiting system. Clearly inspired by elements of dugeon fictions such as dungeon annihilation/robotics it is still truly it's own novel with it's own plot. Thougherly recomend for its intresting take

Swordofmytriumph
Overall

Dungeon core stories are my favorite, so I've read quite a few of them. This is the first I've encountered where the dungeon doesn't have any life or people to munch on when it is born. It forces the dungeon to bend some rules and figure some things out for itself while fighting against the rules the System has in place.

I really feel for the dungeon as it searches for people, the sense of incompleteness and loneliness it feels is palpable and every chapter I was rooting for it. 

The grammar is excellent, I didn't notice anything that needed to be edited which was also awesome.

Like many dungeon core stories, it starts out slow for a few chapters before getting REALLY interesting around chapter 10, but once that happened I was glued to the page.

I can't wait to see where this is going, keep it up cathfach!

 

 

ishner
Overall

This story is exactly what it is trying to be. It begins as it intended to begin, continues as is perfectly natural for it to continue, and ends in a perfect culmination of what it has been.

I attest only to quality of workmanship, not that what has been wrought will be pleasing to thine eye. It is pleasing to mine, but we are different people.

Anyway, it is very short. You certainly have the time for 20 short chapters.

CBase
Overall

The strongest point of this story is the concept of a baby dungeon restoring/reclaiming the land after a magical apocalypse destroyed the whole world as far as we know it.

The other strong point of the story is its unique take on what it means to be a dungeon and making this dungeon more human than most humans.

To be honest it is not written very interestingly but because you want to unearth(hehe) the mystery of the outside world you keep going.

This is like the first time you saw "the Purge", the story was kinda meh but you wanted to see where it took this innovative concept.

All in all, a strong concept, medicore execution.

I am giving it 4.5 stars for now.

todd
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Great divergence from the standard dungeon

Reviewed at: Chapter 16: An enchanting dungeon

I'm a huge fan of dungeon core stories, and as much as I've enjoyed the classic "build a dungeon, make a friend, fight evil" progression, my favorites have always been the ones that exploit the abilities of the dungeon creatively. This does a fantastic job of building up a quiet, but fascinating, world and exploring it through an inquisitive dungeon. It's somewhat somber and has virtually no action at this point, but it's a type of story that really doesn't need it.

Style: Simple and straightforward, no unnecessary prose, and easy to read.

Grammar: Solid throughout the story, no muddling through misspelled or missing words. 

Story: Stellar. Given how little was offered in the summary, I'll avoid going into too much detail, but the basis for the story is fantastic if somewhat bleak. We witness everything through the perspective of the core, with the occasional lore note at the head of chapters. The center of the piece revolves around the newborn core grappling with the system, it's restrictions, and their ability to work around those restrictions as needed to grow. It's not an instant break or divergence, but rather a running series of investigative effort and exploitation in order to grow in isolation. As more of the world is revealed, the necessity of skirting the Rules grows, and the impact that the dungeon could have likewise grows with it.

Character: There is only one and that's the dungeon, so it's fairly important that the character is enjoyable to read. Overall, the core makes for an interesting character. It's rarely pressured, but a great deal of thought is put into the things that they're investigating, as well as the solutions that they come up with to resolve the problems that they're faced. As this is not a reincarnated dungeon core with baggage coming along behind them, there's a slow progression as the character learns, grows, and develops into a full-fledged person. In short, it's satisfying to read and their choices are oddly endearing coming from a foundation of little more than dungeon instincts.

Overall, this makes for a solid if unconventional story. It's not action-packed or snarky, but there's a solemnity to the isolation that makes each action in pursuit of their goals a bit more impactful. I have a feeling as to where it's headed (a general direction, at least) and I look forward to seeing the author take us there. That said, for those looking to find bloody fights and brutal traps, this is unlikely to scratch that itch.

Psychomeltdown
Overall

Fascinating story.  It takes the usual dungeon core experience and gives it a twist, this one being an apoclyptic event that has destroyed life.  Without the adventurers to fuel its growth, the dungeon must find ways of growing and expanding.

 

The dungeon's exploration of the system and the world outside only fuels my enjoyment of the story.  Can't wait for more.

FordPerfect
Overall

This is a story of a dungeon exploring a dead world and it's system.

There is an interesting bit of world building, and a bit of character development... but not much else.  Which makes sense, because everything is dead other than the dungeon and it's monsters.  There are occasional flashbacks to past events which can have some dialog which was well written, but the flashbacks are only a couple paragraphs long and at most only 1 per chapter.

Nicely written.  Read it if you want to know the backstory/lore for the author's new work.

Zengar
Overall

It is very hard to tell a story where the main character has no one to talk to or interact with, but the author has managed it just fine so far. There are some indications that this state of affairs might end at some point in the future, but up to now (and likely for some time to come) there is just trying to figure out how to do things with no instruction, trying to figure out what happened, and trying find a purpose.

WhiteBirdy
Overall

I log in every day to see if it's updated

Reviewed at: Chapter 18: A tourist dungeon

I've read a ton of those "modern person wakes up as a dungeon" stories. This... is a dungeon waking up as a dungeon, and I love it. Conflict arrives, not because humans invade the dungeon... but because they don't. The dungeon, born with a lot of instinctive knowledge, realizes that something is very wrong, but in order to get answers, it must do something very awful indeed: be naughty and break the rules.

Also, I was so excited when the dungeon was classified as "errant". There are so many stories where the "errant" dungeon type is mentioned, but never used. 

Deathless
Overall

Who should read this: fans of post apocalyptic novels, especially those interested in unique fantasy worlds and exposition.

Style: the lonely dungeon is a highly introspective story about a dungeon that finds itself alone in a too quiet world. It expands, coming into conflict with its own nature and the system that governs it, and slowly becomes something more and more human.

Story: so far the story has seen very little in the way of external conflict besides an external influence on the world. It's mostly focused on exposition and world building of a place that has been destroyed by human cruelty. There is a high focus on Erryns internal conflicts.

Grammar: syntax is mostly fluid and smooth moving. Spelling mistakes or miswordings are near none.

Character score: Erryn is a well written character with depth. We've slowly seen him grow over these chapters and I expect to see more of his personal growth. The character is given strong character growth outside of "number go up", and the system instead reflects his internal change, which brings out the strengths of litrpg very well.